I have finally completed editing and uploading my latest book, The Book Trail, to Amazon. As the books get longer, nearly 90,000 words this time, so the editing takes longer and longer. I keep forgetting to upload the e-book first as that gives you one final spellcheck. As I’m writing in American English and with slang words and terms I usually can just click ‘Ignore’ when spelling errors are thrown up but there is always the possibility I’ve missed something which needs correcting. This time there was one ‘sidewalk’ misspelt as ‘siedwalk’. So annoying! It doesn’t take long to correct and upload the Kindle version but the paperback edition was already ‘In Review’ for its first publication so I have to wait until its live and then upload the corrected version. I also had an error with the e-book cover as I clicked to launch the ‘Cover Creator’ rather than just upload the cover I had on my computer. Annoying but easy to correct. All this and no one will buy it anyway!
I’m about 35,000 words into the next book, another story about PI Bobby Olsen. It’s been slow going as I usually have a change in between his books and write something different. This time I couldn’t think of anything so ploughed on regardless and took Bobby and Carol down to Texas to visit Carol’s parents. I expect I will keep going and churn out something.
Editing was hard work. I can’t make up my mind about contractions. Bobby is the narrator so it seems logical for words like ‘could’ve’, should’ve’, must’ve’ etc to be used but I can’t convince myself in some sentences, especially with ‘must’ve’. I’ve noticed some authors go all the way while others keep everything very prim and proper with ‘have ‘ in full four letters. This time I’ve erred on the side of contracting as much as possible.
“Moon River” is a song composed by Henry Mancini with lyrics by Johnny Mercer. It was originally performed by Audrey Hepburn in the 1961 movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s, winning an Academy Award for Best Original Song.
There was an eruption of behind-the-scenes consternation when a Paramount Pictures executive, Martin Rackin, suggested removing the song from the film after a tepid Los Angeles preview. Hepburn’s reaction was described by Mancini and others in degrees varying from her saying, “Over my dead body!” to her using more colorful language to make the same point.
A beautiful sunny but cold day here in south east England. A brisk walk along the seafront to the coffee shop and a good forty-five minutes of writing. The coffee had rather a thin foam today but the wonderful taste made up for it. All the regular guys were in the shop – I use the term ‘guys’ loosely here as it includes two women who are regular early birds – and wonderfully the one noisy man is on holiday so the conversations were low and not distracting. I find if I ‘log-on’ to something being discussed it’s very hard to re-concentrate on my writing.
So, a couple of hundred new words added to the new story, mostly dialogue as the main theme of the book becomes evident, after just 25,000 words! Oh dear. With three characters in the conversation it was quite tricky to make sense of the talk, I’m sure there’s some editing to be done there a few months down the line. There’s lots of ‘Carol folded her arms’, ‘I put the cup down’ and ‘Alicia coughed’.
A few photos taken on the way home to show the sunny weather and the pier and seafront.
Over the weekend I added another few hundred words to the latest book about the New York PI and his sidekick set in 1960. It was a glorious sunny day so the coffee shop soon filled up. I don’t like to overstay my time there if it’s getting crowded. Forty minutes writing is probably enough anyway, and forty minutes sitting down is certainly enough.
Yesterday I managed to fit in an hour’s editing of the previous manuscript. I have nearly reached the end of the second edit and will then print off the story to do the final edit from paper. Then it’s just the simple matter of remembering how to upload a manuscript to Amazon and hope they haven’t changed or added too many ‘features’.
Covers always cause a slight problem. I’m not prepared to pay someone to produce one so have relied on Amazon’s own photographs. A couple of books I gave simple patterned covers to as there were no suitable photos. The last book I managed to find a good photo from Canva dot com. One drawback with Amazon is that if you want to put on a new, different cover after you’ve published another, you have to delete the whole book, reupload and then use your new image. I suppose we can’t complain, it’s all free after all.
Tomorrow, hopefully up to the coffee shop. Weather forecast is cold, bright and dry. A brisk seafront walk, a hot tasty coffee and off we go with semi-defrosted fingers on the keyboard.
Despite the threat of gale force winds and heavy rain I managed to walk to the coffee shop this morning. Drizzly rain on the way back but can’t complain and I really didn’t want to use the car for such a short journey.
Another few hundred words written, grinding along slowly while editing the last finished manuscript at home. Yesterday I edited most of the afternoon while waiting for a parcel to be delivered. One problem with writing longer novels is that the editing takes so much more time. I thought I’d have it finished by now but I am still only two-thirds through the second edit. I’ll then print the story out and do a final read through and change anything I spot. I find I see things I’ve missed when set out on actual paper, it’s quite surprising what you don’t see on screen.
Dentist early tomorrow morning so no visit to the coffee shop and so probably nothing new to be written. Hopefully back to the shop on Friday if I feel the urge.
In the charts around January 1969 and discovered by me when researching music for a book I wrote last year set in New York in 1969. I’d never heard the song or of the group before but it still sounds good all these years later.
A bit of info from Wikipedia – Bobby Taylor & the Vancouvers were a Canadian soul band from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The group recorded for the Gordy Records division of Motown Records in 1968, where they had a top 30 hit single, “Does Your Mama Know About Me”. As a producer and solo artist, Bobby Taylor contributed to several other soul recordings, both inside and outside of Motown. Taylor is most notable for discovering and mentoring The Jackson 5. Tommy Chong was a member of Bobby Taylor & the Vancouvers before he became famous as a comedian.
That piece of info was interesting – I’ve recently read a book about Detroit in 1968 and how Berry Gordy built up Motown which peaked in 1968, unfortunately at the same time as riots hit the city.
Fascinating to see Taylor had influence with The Jackson 5 too.
I’m finding it so hard to find time to write any posts here. As I write my novels, or attempts at novels, daily and I edit the finished manuscripts from previous attempts, it doesn’t leave me much time to or desire to write anything else. So, I will try and put up simple posts detailing what writing I have achieved and any other silly things to do with writing or cats or music or whatever. Nothing earth-shaking or wonderous, no masterpieces of writing, just blah blah blah.
Today, Saturday, I was at the usual coffee shop at 8.35 a.m., coffee ordered and writing begun. It wasn’t my most prolific session, the room filled up quite quickly being the weekend and I’m not yet really into the story I’m presently writing. The group of similar-aged men were in the shop as they always are and I fell into the temptation of listening to their conversation and consequently was writing about one word of my own for twenty of their spoken ones. Because I’m not sure where my story is going right now I’m dragging out each scene, mainly through dialogue, and hopefully through adding more detail for the minor characters. Let’s hope it doesn’t become too slow a read.
While editing my previous story I noticed how often I use ‘his’ and ‘her’ when quite unnecessary. It’s been surprising how many I have deleted. I’ve also used more contractions in the narrative, not just in the speech. The guy who’s narrating speaks quick and casual so I decided the story unravelling inside his head would follow a similar style. It certainly makes the read go fluently.
Tomorrow, Sunday, will be an editing day if I do any writing-related work.
Watched an interesting TV progamme about gardens in the USA last night – it partly answered something I’ve always wondered, why do so many American front gardens comprise only of lawn.